Conference gives wind energy industry a boost

The week in business: results from IFG, euro zone unemployment and UK inflation

According to the Irish Wind Energy Association, there are now 228 wind farms on the island. Photograph: Keith Arkins

According to the Irish Wind Energy Association, there are now 228 wind farms on the island. Photograph: Keith Arkins

 

Monday

Results: Aralez Pharmaceuticals.

Indicators: Euro zone construction output (Jan).

Tuesday

Results: Mincon, Bellway, Frutarom, FedEx.

Indicators: Euro zone economic sentiment index (Mar), consumer confidence (Mar); UK inflation (Feb), PPI input (Feb), retail price index (Feb), German PPI (Feb), economic sentiment index (Mar).

Positive full-year results are expected from Mincon on Tuesday, not to mention another strong year in 2018.

Pre-tax profits at the Dublin-listed engineering group jumped 26 per cent to €6.3 million in the first half of the year, with revenues of €47 million up 29 per cent on the corresponding period in 2016.

At that stage, chief executive Joe Purcell said that apart from growth in its existing product ranges, the company that manufactures rock-drilling hammers and bits for the mining industry had also got new products, new factories and investment over the past couple of years to come on stream.

“We have a very strong balance sheet, adequate cash resources and an ambitious, experienced team in a sector that continues to improve,” he said.

That positive outlook is echoed in a note from Davy ahead of its FY posting. In fact, it predicts the numbers will show a “significant improvement” on 2016, even estimating 25 per cent growth in revenue to €95.5 million.

“The company delivered 29 per cent revenue growth in the first nine months, so we believe these numbers could be conservative at this point,” it said.

Meanwhile, IFG Group full-year results on Wednesday follow last month’s news that the Dublin-headquartered, UK-focused financial services firm said an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) into a structured investment previously offered to clients, could cost it more than £20 million (€22.7 million).

Shares in IFG fell sharply after the unscheduled trading update with the stock down 17 per cent at one point.

Wednesday

Results: IFG Group, Kingfisher, Guess.

Indicators: UK employment change (Dec), unemployment (Jan), average earnings (Jan), public sector net borrowing (Feb), industrial trends orders (Mar), German consumer confidence (Apr).

Meetings: ECB non-monetary policy meeting; US Fed Interest Rate Decision; Ireland Wind Energy Association (IWEA) spring conference (Clayton Hotel, Dublin); Small Firms Association Cork seminar on GDPR (Maryborough Hill, Douglas, Cork).

Ireland’s relationship with wind energy has only deepened since the day giant white turbines first began appearing on rugged landscapes around the country. It is of course unsurprising given our position as a European outlier on the wild Atlantic ocean, perfectly situated to welcome home all of those megawatts-in-waiting.

And in an era of green energy and carbon reduction, efforts to double down on this relationship continue apace. According to the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA), whose Spring Summit takes place on Wednesday, there are now 228 wind farms on the island. The organisation will even help you visit one if you want – sure proof of its efforts to champion the future of the sector down to every last detail.

Wind energy in Ireland currently offers a blustering 3025 megawatts – just one megawatt being enough to power about 650 homes.

Although a little drab in title – “Ireland’s Clean Energy Future: Partnership and Progress” – the conference helps beat the drum on a vital front in the battle for ever increasing reliance on “renewables”.

Last year it attracted over 500 delegates and 200 exhibiting companies from across Europe.

This year, speakers include Green Party leader Eamon Ryan; Jim Gannon, chief executive of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI); economist Professor John FitzGerald and Ibec chief executive Danny McCoy.

Thursday

Results: HeidelbergCement, Nike.

Indicators: Irish industrial production (Jan), wholesale prices (Feb); Euro zone composite, manufacturing and services PMI flash (Mar); UK retail sales (Feb); German composite, manufacturing and services PMI flash (Mar), business climate, expectations and current conditions (Mar); US house price index (Jan), composite, manufacturing and services PMI flash (Mar).

Meetings: ECB general council meeting; UK Bank of England interest rate decision; Nevin Economic Research Institute seminar Belfast – Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing (College Gardens, Belfast); Galway Chamber Ireland Canada Trade briefing (Galway Chamber, Merchant’s Road).

Friday

Meetings: Offset Dublin 2018 creative conference (Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin Docklands).

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